So, what does a pair of Pom Pom earrings, 70's television and a Font have in common? My new blog design and I am excited to share with you today a little sneak peek into my design inspiration process. If you caught yesterday's Welcome Post, this is kind of a second act:) Also this post is great for new bloggers or in the same boat as myself (seasoned and always wanting to improve). A new blog design can be overwhelming at any level of expertise. We're bombarded with so much style influences on the web these days and it has a tendency to clutter our own style preferences. You see what others are up to and you think 'well that might work for me'. But, I knew when I made up my mind to redesign StoryboardC.. I needed to go all the way my style or go home:) No copy here. I first began with taking pen to paper. Making lists upon lists of what I wanted my design to be. Color Schemes. Fonts. Banner or No Banner? I focused solely on the design, not the content in my brainstorming list. That would come next on the Blog Re-do agenda (more about that later next week). Once I had some design ideals cemented. I took the time to find them and narrowed it down to three key elements of inspiration.
Side note: You don't want to go bat shit crazy with too many ideas. It will be too overwhelming when you go to implement your new blog design. I know I have made that mistake in the past. Ugh... Less is truly more. Three key inspiration elements sounded like a good number for me, but up to five would be my personal suggested max.
Then once I had my Three, I collected those ideas in a private Instagram account (A secret Pinterest board has also worked for me in the past too).
1. A Color Scheme for all Blog Seasons. First things First. I wanted Clean and Simple. White Background with splashes of my favorite colors. The Main Splash, a pale pink inspired my childhood bedroom. My Secondary Splash color of choice was a Orangey Red inspired by favorite lipstick color Heat Wave (Francois Nars). Last, but least colors to balance, I chose a little Gray and Black. This color scheme might sound familiar, it is definitely a new twist on my old blog design. I wanted to have that continuity and comfort for my readers and myself. It was cool that I recently found 'it must be color scheme fate' in a pair of Pom Pom Earrings (Bauble Bar) I bought for myself. See, inspiration does find us in the everyday:)
Side note: When thinking of your own color scheme, choose colors that YOU are drawn too. Incorporate your favorite shade somehow or a color you have long admired (you will see a bit of yellow on my blog from time to time, it was my Mothers favorite). Make sure it makes you Happy and Inspired. Remember You will be looking at your blog design more than your blog readers:) You want to really love your color scheme! Another Tip is Downloading PANTONE Studio iPhone App. It is a great way to pull colors when inspiration finds you.
2. That 70's Shows. Old Sitcoms are my Happy comfort place. I also get so much inspiration from them. The 70's was for sure not afraid of color and nor am I:) And you shouldn't be either. I was reminded of this over the summer watching on Hulu a million re-runs of my favorite shows. The pink and Orangey Red came from the Brady Bunch Girls bedroom. Another reminder that our color preferences sometimes never change. Once upon a time these colors inspired my own childhood bedroom:) Now they live again on my new Blog home. *And did you catch the Brady Girls room was the background for my coming soon cover page?
What were some of your own childhood color inspirations?
Side Note: Home Sweet Blog Home. I have long considered my blog a personal extension of myself. I want it to mirror my own home. Where readers feel comfortable and I do too. As I mentioned above, you will be spending as much time or maybe more looking at your blog. You want it to be comforting and inviting as if readers are really hanging out with you in person. I even take this approach in how I write. More of a conversational style and writing imperfections are always welcome. I hope you will keep this in mind if you are creating a blog for the first time or wanting to change things up.
3. Fonts make a Woman. I take my Fonts very seriously:) Fonts make and break a site in my book. And there is a real creative readable science behind it. I will link below a few posts that helped me remember this...
I have been a longtime fan of Fonts since I can remember. It is kind of been a OCD thing since childhood. I use to collect old Life Magazines to study the Copy Lay-outs and spent oodles of hours on my Grandpa's computer making imaginary Book covers and banners in Print Shop back in the 1980's. Yes, I was born to blog or totally missed the time machine boat to for print magazine back in the 60's.
Speaking of Mid-century... That is why my number one go to for Fonts is House Industries. I dream of owning all their collections, but in the meantime I am a huge fan of their Photo-Lettering App and Website. I love how they are honoring the past by digitizing vintage Fonts for present and future use. I chose from their collection my New logo font, Cooper Nouveau. I just love it's record album vibe from 1960's and 70's. Reminding me of my Dad and his awesome record collection back in the day. Cooper Nouveau even graced the cover of a Gordon Lightfoot album (If it is good enough for Gordon, it's good enough for me:) and the font title even brought me back to high school... reminding me of my epic crush on a guy with the last name Cooper. Fonts definitely make a memorable impression. And for my subtitle blog post font, I decided to stay with my old House Industries stand-by Neutraface. I love that font and spy it all the time on old mid-century schools and office buildings. See, I am a total freak of fonts:) But, They do matter!
Side Note: I always suggest to anyone asking me about blog design to put a lot of thought into their font choices. Do research on the subject and even take courses. The number One thing you need to keep in mind especially with blog text is readability. You want your readers to feel at ease and if a font is too shocking (size and width). They will stop reading and we don't want that:) I try also to keep my blog content type size between a 13 to 16, currently I chose 14. I would rather be bigger than smaller, though personally at a glance I enjoy the look of smaller type, but my own eyes hate it for reading:) Lastly another important factor in fonts for content is color. I usually go with a dark grey instead of black on a white blog background . Dark grey is far easier on the eyes than a stark contrast of black. But, always keep in mind your background color. If it is Grey then by all means do a black. If you have more questions about, please feel free to ask me. I love this subject. Maybe I will do a future post soon. In the meantime, here is a few posts that you might find helpful:
*Finding, Choosing, and Pairing Brand Fonts/ Elle&Co. This a great resource for beginners wanting to know more about fonts. I love how Lauren breaks it down and you will come away with some Graphic Design know-how.
*10 Best Font Pairs for Squarespace. Recently working on my own blog redesign on the Platform Squarespace. I came across this awesome post about font pairing and I was also excited it was created by a previous Instructor of mine in a On-line Course on Blogging by A Beautiful Mess (it's currently unavailable, but I will link to it when it is!) Promise Tangeman is a graphic designer, certified digital marketing strategist and owner of the Webdesign firm, Go Live Hq. She is a wealth of information worthy of a follow.
Finding your own Design Inspiration. This is where I challenge you to look around. Brainstorm and take action! I can't begin to tell you how much this redesign has pushed me to look even at my other aspects of designing my life. I am eager to see this enthusiasm spill over everywhere:) Again please feel feel free to leave comments below or email me about questions. I am here to help. Blogging doesn't have to be a solo gig! Lets create a community of support. Remember there is room for all of this in this fabulous hobby. We each have unique stories and talents to bring to the Blog table.